Red Sox Will Keep Calm And Carry On Without Johnny Cueto
Yesterday’s game, where Boston Red Sox starting pitcher Joe Kelly absolutely ballooned his ERA into epic proportions, is another example of how the team’s pitchers have taken Red Sox Nation for a roller coaster ride. This season has made fans question whether any of the starting rotation members are reliable, in one way or another. However, does that mean extreme measures must be made, regardless of the long-term consequences?
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Jim Bowden of ESPN questioned, recently, whether it is time to make a big move for a starting pitcher, whom wants off of his own team in a hurry: Johnny Cueto. Nathan Francis of Inquisitr.com reported Bowden’s words:
"“I predict the Red Sox will then respond like we’re used to in the Yankees-Red Sox front-office rivalry and put a strong prospect package together to land Cueto from the Reds (as long as he doesn’t sign an extension in the meantime). The package will not include Betts or Swihart but instead be centered on pitchers Henry Owens and Matt Barnes. The deal won’t happen until after the Reds have hosted the 2015 All Star Game at Great American Ball Park.” – Jim Bowden, ESPN"
This prediction was based off of the idea that Cole Hamels will possibly land in New York, instead of Boston. With all of the hype, in the off-season, that Hamels would make the move to Massachusetts, if the deal was going to happen then it would have happened already. Maybe Bowden is right.
Everyone’s entitled to their opinions. It just doesn’t mean anyone else has to agree with them.
Rumor has it that Cueto wants $200 million when he becomes a free agent in 2016. That’s a heck of a lot of money for a player whom has not played in a Red Sox uniform, before. However, Cueto seems very motivated to get out of his current digs, as well. Thomas Carannante of HNGN.com writes, “It’s clear Cueto wants to play for a winner, especially after he called out the Reds’ offense last week, saying he’s ‘waiting for the rest of the team to do their job,’ following a 3-0 loss to the Kansas City Royals.”
Leave the statistics for a second and concentrate on the idea of loyalty for a moment. Former Red Sox hero Jon Lester had to sign with the Chicago Cubs, for six years and $155 million with a $25 million team option, because the Red Sox brass wouldn’t pay more than that. Think about it: why would Boston trade for a player who wants much more than that, when they just gave up on a guy whom pitched for them for nine years and was a three-time All-Star, including the year that they traded him?
Lester has given up 25 runs, while Cueto has given up 23 runs, in 2015. Both men have made nine starts, this season. Their numbers are virtually the same, even when looking deeper into the stat boards. Their pitch velocities are relatively the same, according to FanGraphs.com, with Lester’s four-seamer clocked at 91.5 mph and Cueto’s at 91.9 mph. Their other pitches hold true to that trend, as well.
With not much difference between them, is it just that the Red Sox misjudged how much they needed Lester? Possibly. That being said, does Boston really want to give up their youth in a deal? Would the Cincinnati Reds even want a deal? Just because a quality player becomes a malcontent in your locker room, it doesn’t mean that you just give the man away. History has shown that teams have eaten negativity for the player to live out his contract and go elsewhere, when the price was never right.
Nobody is disputing that the Red Sox are more than capable of providing quality prospects to the Reds; however, it is the same logic discussed about the Hamels trade, months ago. Why trade for a player when he could leave, next season? Why trade for a very angry man whom threw his teammates under the bus, so easily? Why trade for a starting pitcher whom wants more money than another man, whom you stood by through cancer and won multiple championships with, yet you still didn’t pay what he wanted to resign him?
This trade makes little sense when compared to the logic that the Red Sox have used in the past year. Was it flawed logic in the first place? Well, the starting rotation isn’t looking good, or at least consistent, to start the season. That does not mean that two wrongs make a right. Everyone, just breathe. Whether 2015 is a failure or not, nobody in Red Sox Nation wants to see their team look even worse in 2016. Let’s calm down and see what other options are out there.
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